International Journal of the Sociology of Language
Founded by Fishman, Joshua A.
Ed. by Garcia Otheguy, Ofelia
SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2015: 0.309
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“It's something that's just faded away”: how a Melbourne family of Swiss-German background makes sense of language shift
Citation Information: International Journal of the Sociology of Language. Volume 2006, Issue 180, Pages 89–104, ISSN (Online) 1613-3668, ISSN (Print) 0165-2516, DOI: 10.1515/IJSL.2006.042, August 2006
- Published Online:
This article is based on a case study of a family with three children who migrated to Australia from German-speaking Switzerland in 1984. It was found that within less than ten years, Swiss-German was substituted by English as the language in the home and today the younger generation use Swiss-German exclusively for communication with their relatives in Switzerland. The article retraces this change in language use and examines how the members of the family recall the language shift and make sense of it. The findings are discussed in terms of the roles played by the family members (in particular by the mother) and in terms of the family's language background.
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